Friday, April 25, 2014

Doctor Who Said What ?

After listening to Dr.Rhonda Matter's Radio interview the other day on CBC with Matt Rainey,I waited to hear what those of us as clients and families in the Addiction & Mental Health Community thought of it.Seems like we are all on the same Page..The Doctor is Out.

  • She stated Access to treatment was the main problem,but once access was gotten the services provided were top notch ?????? There will be improvement in this area with 3 new positions having been created,addictions patient navigator, an outreach social worker and a complex case coordinator.I agree these positions will help.I do not agree,nor do many I have heard from that the services are Top Notch..In all fairness to the front line staff..they can only offer what they have been given..which are far from Adequate. Access to service was not anyone's priority..Treatment..Treatment..Treatment..Is the BUZZZ word!!
  •  She mentioned the wait times for children and adolescents seem to be the priority based on her conversations. NEWSFLASH! This is a disease. Everyone should be treated with the same level of care, concern and opportunity to get well. Would we accept priority lists with cancer or heart disease or any other illness? NO !! 
  •  Dr.Matter's Quote  "Even if we always had services available, relapse is part of the process of recovery so sometimes family members and people are ready to go one minute and not able to stay. It is a very difficult process." Yes, It is a difficult process. That is why it is important to have adequate and intensive enough treatment available! It is hard to overcome addiction. Islanders battling the disease do not need more obstacles like inadequate programs for their level of addiction!!
  • When asked about Treatment services for those no longer youth..She stated the 10 "new" transition beds at the Addiction Center are for those 18 and older..along with detox..AA..NA..and we have Recovery Houses..Plus Access to off Island Long Term Residential Centers In NB & ONT. Let's dissect these services for a moment..bear with me.. 
  1.   The 10 " New transition beds are not new..far from it..they have been sitting there for years unused!  
  2. Access to Off Island treatment..If you qualify..If the Board Deems you have tried all services here on the Island first and failed... Really want and are ready for the help..If you have 2 Letters from 2 different Doctors..One being a can be your family Doctor..and last but not least..even if you have all of the above..They decide if you go or not..So Roll the dice Folks..It's a crap shoot whether you live or die( And to many who have gotten refused ..these are their words).Alot on our fair Island do NOT have a family Doctor..and the wait times to see a Psychiatrist  is 49 days..let's round it out to 60 days since you must be referred. I think I can safely say most..If not all have been through the services offered here so many times they lost count.Apparently there were unused PEI beds at the NB facility..Yet People were refused..Hmmmmmmm.  
  3. I saved the best for last..Recovery Houses..We have 3 for whole Island..Average stay..30-90 days..some longer. Beds Available: Talbot House:  Men only 14.Lacey House : Women Only: 6 These are the only 2 recovery houses serving the Charlottetown area. I think the other is in Summerside.Now let's do some math..Last year alone 1000 people went through detox..The youth then can apply for the Strength 8 week..semi-residential program that runs for 8 weeks with an intake of 10...Bottom Line.. If I remember Correctly 8-10 were sent to NB..6 to Ontario, There is a whole lot of people NOT getting into Recovery Homes,Residential Treatment..We have over 500 hundred now in The Methadone Program..I think about 75 new spots this year..These are just Guesstimates From What I heard on an Interview With Dr.Ling, of The Addiction Center.
 When the Big Question..Do you feel pressure From Premier Ghiz as he handed over the power to you in  Addressing the Question " Are we going to get our own Long term Residential Treatment Center..He stated if you recommended it, he would build it tomorrow ! So Dr.Matters..What has your research so far told you ? Well For me all I heard were excuses as to why we would NOT be getting one..population..need..access to off Island Centers...Basing her decisions on scientific educational based research..End of story..That's it Folks..Read into it what you wish..

My final thoughts on the statement she has spoken to many of her front line staff..professionals in all areas of our Addiction & Mental Health Services and feels with a bit of tweaking they can all work together to serve us all Quite Nicely..My only problem is it is impossible to rate your own business !!...I believe the only to rate it is from the Client 's perspective!! That's how you build a better business that serves the needs of a community..The People spoke loud and clear at the protest..In the papers..On the Radio .. From The Judges... to The Lawyers...                                                                                                  Someone does not have their Listening ears on !!                                     


    1. Excellent synopsis of Ms Matter's interview. It is beyond pathetic. Guess when the big report comes out there will be no surprises. It is pretty apparent that addiction treatment is not the priority that Currie claims it is.

      1. It would appear not..just more bureaucracy